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Monday, July 2, 2018

1001 Nighters - Ralph Flanagan

1001 Nighters
1001 Nighters
Ralph Flanagan And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1274

From the back cover: The talented pianist-arranger is a road-man himself from way back. He broke into the big-time band business at twenty-one, when he joined Sammy Kaye. Seven years later he left Kaye and subsequently worked as a side man for a succession of well-known orchestra leaders, including Horace Heidi and Blue Barron. Although he served in the U. S. Coast Guard during World War II, Ralph managed to do some band arrangements on the side. After he was discharged he quit the road entirely and concentrated on building a career as an arranger, working for topflight RCA Victor artist as Perry Como and Tony Martin.

In 1949, Ralph gathered together a group of the finest studio musicians in town and recorded under his own name for RCA's Bluebird label. The records – swingy, tasteful instrumentals with a solid, danceable beat – were an instant success, and colleges and ballrooms across the country began clamoring to book the then non-existent Flanagan band "in person."

Ralph reacted to his sudden popularity with mixed emotions. Naturally he was delighted that his first records were hits, but at the same time he was frankly dismayed at the thought of leaving his family and going out on the road again. In 1950, though, he acceded to public demand and returned to the one-nighter arena, playing his first date at the King Phillips Ballroom in Wrentham, Massachusetts.

The results were phenomenal. Flanagan broke all attendance records wherever he played, and disk jockeys and ballroom operators alike acclaimed him for single-handedly restoring the old big-time bloom to the band business, which was in a downright colorless state at the time.

Somewhat to his own surprise, Ralph discovered he loved the road and meeting his fans in person. He also found that keeping in constant personal touch with the public enabled him to gauge the country's musical tastes more accurately in the record field. His views are still the same today, after having been on the road almost continuously for the last six years and playing more one-nighters than any other band leader. – June Bundy

Talk Talk From Texas
Moon Over Miami
Speed Trap
Stars Fell On Alabama
Beautiful Ohio
Mississippi Mud
Indiana (Back Home In Indiana)
I'm Goin' Home
The Little Big Horn Blues
Missouri Waltz
California Here I Come
1001 Nighters

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